No Pictures, Please

I have not had as much time to write this week; life has been consumed by work; sickness; and hungry, growing children. I finally am well enough today to wake up early and write. Since it is Friday, I have my Flash!Friday post for you.

This week’s picture is beautiful, and prompted a story almost immediately.

Jakob holds up his hand in warning the second before I shoot. An idyllic scene of a laborer preparing his tools. I had the perfect story to go with it, and the magazine had promised a hefty sum for an illustrated story about Latin workers. A real behind-the-scenes look at life south of Texas.

I need that money. How many weeks has it been since my last paycheck? My stomach answers, too long. I ache for a good meal, a splurge in a fancy hotel with a hot shower. Instead, the posada offers beans and tortillas, and hot water is sparse.

“No pictures, please.” His words kill my vision. Whenever I take out my camera, people retreat in fear. But the magazine won’t accept my story without good pictures, and the editor suggested a story about this native village.

In broken Spanish, I ask why he won’t allow pictures. He answers in his own broken Spanish: Camara conquistar el espiritu.” Camera conquers the spirit.

I submit my story with many pictures: the axe, his hat on the ground, the ramshackle one-room cabin where he lives. But of Jakob I only write.

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